Rotherham have suffered a major blow after confirming that one of the top forwards, prop Toby Williams, will be out for four months with a serious arm injury.
Titans, currently fifth in the Championship before Sunday’s clash against Bristol at Ashton Gate, are seeking a replacement.
Coach, Mark Jones, has made one significant change to the starting line up to face Bristol by selecting winger Ben Rath for his first league match of the season.
Rath,in his third season at Rotherham having joined from Lancashire club Fylde, has rarely played in the first team, but Jones says: “Ben has been training well and it’s time to give him an opportunity.”
Jones has also decided to restore Will Goodwin to fly half now that the former Chester RUFC player has recovered from an ankle injury that stopped him playing in the derby last weekend. Goodwin, who impressed in the previous game at Cornish Pirates, regains his place at the expense of Tom Barrett who probably feels he’s unlucky to be dropped having done little wrong against Doncaster, but arguably Goodwin is more solid in defence.
He will be partnered at half back by scrum half Andy Davies who is preferred to Dan White.
The one change in the pack sees back row forward Tom Calladine switching from flanker to number eight because Australian forward Tim Cree injured his shoulder against Doncaster. In a move that could see him eventually playing regular Championship rugby, Welsh back Ross Jones will at some stage in Bristol make his Rotherham debut having been named as one of the replacements.
Jones, who joined the Titans from Ospreys, is highly thought of: “Ross is a bright kid, he reads the game well, is good in the air and has a good kicking game” said the coach.
“He’s quick on the counter attack and now that he knows our system of playing, he deserves his chance to play in the Championship.
“With our recent wins against Pirates and Doncaster, we are good enough to provide stern opposition against Bristol who are powerful and skilful.
“They have strength in depth and can be a real handful but after our recent performances we can be confident,” added the Rotherham coach.
Scanlon, Wilson, J.Davies, Owen, Rath, Goodwin, A.Davies, Hislop, C.Maddison, Tampin, B.Maddison, Holmes, Argyle, Birch, Calladine.
Replacements: Harris, Thiede, Cromie, Redfern, Oram, Carter, Jones.